Summer Project #1: Art Book

WARNING: This post is painfully long and kind of emotional, so if you have time for neither, wait to read this . . .or just read something really uplifting and positive. Chris Martin’s blog (http://chrismartinwrites.com) is perfect for it. If you do read this, read his blog after. . .it’s great. . .and I’m not talking about the lead singer of Coldplay, if there was any confusion. . .

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I don’t really want to talk about it as if I’m trying to sell it, but in some capaciity
I have to in order to promote this project in hopes of it actually helping someone else besides myself. I’m really sheepish about sharing things I work on because I’m almost convinced someone’s going to knock me down or tell me something discouraging, but I’ve probably recieved enough of that at this point to be able to share something. Instead of beating around this with words, I will now explain *crosses legs and begins*:

I’ve started creating an outline and draft for an art book I want to publish in a few months. At first, I wanted to make it like a very cheap coffee table book of all of my drawings and work. Kind of like a fancy picture book. I realized, though, that I wouldn’t gain much satisfaction out of that because it was too ‘me’ orientated. It also didn’t serve as a challenge. If anything, it just seemed like a really cheap way to tangible vanity, and it took me awhile to realize my pipe dream needed some revision.

I want  to help someone in some way and I want it to be simple, like myself. Although I know a portion of it will have to involve me introducing myself and showing some of my progress,  I want a good portion of it to be me sharing things that I’ve learned in hopes that it helps someone. The way I draw certain things are different and some have said (meaning a few friends) have called it unique and interesting. Some have also asked me how I do it and a 5 minute explanation isn’t exactly enough at times. I could imagine that what I have to share might help a few people. Honestly, if it even helped one, that would be a blessing in itself. It would mean that what I had to give was worth giving.

I will be using vanity publishing (irony) to make this book a real thing. No matter how many actually get sold, for each that is, half of the proceeds will go to a charity that is still pending. I’m still researching a few because I’ve read that there are organizations that have an uneven distribution of funds, and I don’t want to blindly donate money somewhere without knowing where everything’s going.

Those were some of my ‘revisions’, which have actually made this project harder and that’s a good thing. I feel like it’s a small, but extensive way to make a difference. I’ve never been able to do things for myself. Not because I wasn’t given the opportunity, but because it didn’t feel right. I’m not exactly ‘God’s gift to society’ by any stretch of the imagination, but I have such a need to help people. Giving has always been more gratifying to me than receiving. Don’t get me wrong, I love presents and things, but if I could choose to be Santa for the rest of my life, I would gain another 150 pounds so fast it’s not even funny.

This book is kind of my version of giving and it’s been something I’ve thought about for months now that’s actually coming to a reality on paper. . . .wrinkled computer paper, but still. . .real paper. In a lot of ways, I didn’t want this book to seem like self promotion of my artwork or some weird way to showcase that I am some human genie lamp and that if you rub me you can be as ‘amazingly talented’ as me. If anything, that’s what I’m afraid of. That my intentions will seem clouded and that  people will think that I’m really just doing it for my own self fulfillment. It’s also what’s been keeping me from being able to go through with it.

The girl discipleling me from my university explained something to me that helps me continue working on this project. She said that God, no matter what the capacity, has a way of shaping our intentions to serve him, which is the ultimate goal at the end of the day (if your religious). So, no matter what intent is behind it, it will, in some way serve a purpose in leading people to Him. Granted, this book isn’t about God specifically, but my intention is to help others in a way that I never thought was really possible. Whether it were some subconcious way to ‘self promote’, I feel like I’d still make some sort of difference by both giving a new perspective on creativity and giving to a charity that’s passion for a cause supercedes any selfish hidden agenda I have to make myself look “awesome”. For once, I want to use my creativity and art to make a difference rather than just make detailed posters for the walls of my dorm room. If the thing I do with my hands is something God wants to use to help other people, then I feel like this is a start to embrace that.

For those that read this and didn’t get totally bombarded by my freakish out cry for moral support for this project, thank you. I do want to use this as a way to both let people know that it exists and have potential people that are interested, but I really need a well of moral support more than anything right now. Something is really getting in the way of me doing this. I have no idea why either, but it is. Just someone simply giving me a critique on any progress I post or saying ‘it looks like it’s going okay’ is great and more than I could ask for.

Also, for anyone that’s religious and feels like what I’m doing is the direct opposite of what I should be doing in the eyes of God, also helpful. I may be a Christian, but as I get older, I realize that I’ve had to change the ways I percieve what it means to uphold God on a daily basis.

This was an extremely long entry for my first summer project and I promise the second one won’t be as long. I also promise that more interesting things about the project will be posted. Whoever read this, thank you so much. I appreciate you.

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